The development aims to give Jordan and its citizens a capital to be proud of and be a centre of world-class standards on a par with other great cities like Paris and New York, says Jamal Itani, CEO for Abdali Investment and Development.
Formally known as the Abdali Urban Regeneration Project, the $3bn development will create a network of pedestrian-friendly streets, plazas and gardens, central shopping and entertainment facilities, an urban university campus, office complexes, a national library and performing arts centre, prestigious residential buildings, and a state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Abdali PSC was formed out of a partnership between the government-owned real estate developer National Resources and Development Corporation (MAWARED) and Horizon, owned by Sheikh Bahaa Hariri, son of the late Rafik Hariri, an international construction conglomerate specialised in investment and development of large scale real estate and construction projects. This joint venture was further enlarged when the United Real Estate Company, under the group of Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO), joined as partner.
Being built in two phases on 447,000 square metres of land, the development will eventually be home to over 40,000 residents and 50,000 daily commuters. The developers say it is the largest project in Amman, both in terms of its magnitude and the impact it will have on the capital.
‘Internationally, the challenge is that by building such a state-of-the-art downtown, the city will attract tourists and investors and become a viable destination in the region,’ Itani says. ‘To that end, Abdali seeks to raise the standards of living by attracting a more urban and cosmopolitan population.’
Signs of progress on the project can be seen throughout the development. ‘If you pass by the site today you will notice that most of the developers are advancing with their projects,’ noted Itani. ‘Since the early inception of the project our planned schedules have been met without major challenges. Phase I of the project is set for completion in 2010 and based on the construction schedule, we are on time.’
Over the course of the development, Abdali will have invested more than $30m in infrastructure into Amman and equipped the capital with some of the world’s most up-to-date communication and energy technology.
The Abdali Boulevard will be the first above ground, visible sign of the project’s progress. It will run from east to west in the heart of the development and will offer over 240 retail outlets, more than 200 apartments, 270,000 square feet of office space as well as a variety of restaurants, fitness facilities and piazzas.
As construction continues apace, an increasing number of companies are lining up to take part in the project. Most of the investors are foreigners, reflecting the growing outside interest in Jordan’s property market. They include the Abu Dhabi-based Rotana hotel chain, Dubai-based Damac properties and Lebanese insurance firm Med Gulf.
Earlier this year, UAE-based SinoGulf Investments announced that it had paid $300m for the development’s largest land parcel to date. The investor plans to convert the 16,823 square metre plot into a smart urban mixed-use destination with residential, commercial and retail spaces, covering a total built up area of 121,210 square metres.
More recently, Saraya, a real estate and investment company, unveiled plans to build its headquarters on 3,600 square metres in the development. The centre will also feature a five star luxury business hotel, hotel apartments, and serviced residences.
Saraya has also entered into a deal with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to build a W Hotel in the new downtown. Scheduled to open in 2011, the W Amman will be a 280 room hotel in the Abdali district with plans to service additional luxury residences in the development.
Tuesday, May 20- 2008 @ 11:09 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.